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Another Cell Phone-Cancer Study Emerges

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the let's-just-stick-with-this-one dept.

Medicine 212

oxide7 writes "Since the advent of cellular phones, researchers have pondered whether a connection exists between cell phone usage and brain cancer. New evidence always seems to emerge to support or refute such a link. On Wednesday, another study was added to the list. A European study involving nearly 1,000 participants found no link between cell phone use and brain tumors in children and adolescents. This marks the 3rd study this month and the 4th major one this year, all with different conclusions."

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212 comments

follow (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36912318)

the money... who pays for the studies?

Re:follow (2)

shoehornjob (1632387) | more than 2 years ago | (#36912844)

Oh if I had mod points. You are so right and your formula can be applied to research done in various fields. I think Mythbusters presented the best research on the subject. They put Busters' head in a glass box with some alcohol soaked rags and a cell phone that was wired up to some kind of scientific instrument that measures radiation (yeah someone here will know wtf I'm talking about). They found that the radiation did spike a bit when making or recieving calls but it was within acceptable levels. And predictably it did not set Busters' head on fire. Damn.

Re:follow (1)

Dthief (1700318) | more than 2 years ago | (#36913124)

YES!

I noticed the ones who said correlation was there (causes cancer) were from universities, whereas the other studies were international committees with no mentioned affiliation. I am pretty sure you are right on target.

This also applies to Fracking

Re:follow (2, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#36913154)

FTA: "Since the advent of cellular phones, researchers have pondered whether a connection exists between cell phone usage"

Ummm, no they haven't. The underlying physics has been known for at least a hundred years and the appropriate experiments to confirm the theory were done to every thinking person's satisfaction long before cellphones even existed.

Anybody who thinks cell phones might cause cancer has no right to call themselves a "researcher". They're in it for the grant money, book sales and daytime TV appearances.

For the short-attention-spanners:
a) Cellphone radiation is made of exactly the same stuff as light.
b) Visible light is about a million times more energetic (i.e. dangerous) than cellphone radiation.
c) Visible light doesn't harm anybody (none of these 'researchers' seem worried about visible light, do they?)
d) Physics predicts that ultra violet light is where the cancer problem begins.
e) Simple observation confirms point (c) and (d)*

[*] Hence sun creams. Which are made by scientists.

Re:follow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36913524)

You are aware that, in spite of the fact that visible light is "about a million times more energetic" than a cell signal, there's still a better chance of getting cell signal than sunlight down there in your basement?

Something to do with materials having different opacities at different frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum...

Re:follow (2, Informative)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#36913590)

While it does seem that cellphones don't cause cancer, a few of your points are weak enough that they should just be dropped.

a) so are X-rays

b) I'd rather be exposed to 800Watts of visible light than microwaves

Re:follow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36913286)

More than that. They studied kids. You won't get cancer right away. You should be worried about the long term consequences. If you start using a cell phone at 12 will you get cancer later in life in your 40's, 50's or 60's. That's the bigger question. This study just ended up being good advertising for the phone companies.

Obligatory xkcd (1, Redundant)

somaTh (1154199) | more than 2 years ago | (#36912320)

http://xkcd.com/925/ [xkcd.com]

The graph does make it look pretty clear...

Re:Obligatory xkcd (-1, Redundant)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 2 years ago | (#36912344)

Of course, numbers don't lie. It's obvious; Cancer causes Cell Phones.

Re:Obligatory xkcd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36912492)

Yes, that's the point the cartoon was making...

Re:Obligatory xkcd (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 2 years ago | (#36912748)

http://xkcd.org/882/ [xkcd.org] is also relevant.

I'm not so sure the conclusions are different (2)

Scareduck (177470) | more than 2 years ago | (#36912342)

as they have been manipulated to sound different. The infamous WHO study was so mealy-mouthed as to be capable of saying almost anything the reader wanted.

Re:I'm not so sure the conclusions are different (1)

jojoba_oil (1071932) | more than 2 years ago | (#36913820)

Right. The whole subject is junk. Just look at TFS:

New evidence always seems to emerge to support or refute such a link.

Ok. So there's 2 options: support, refute. But then:

This marks the 3rd study this month and the 4th major one this year, all with different conclusions

If each has different results, then we have:

  • support
  • refute
  • inconclusive (not one of two possible outcomes stated)

  • not-supporting not-refuting still-conclusive evidence? wtf is that?

Non-ionizing (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36912412)

Non-ionizing. Quit wasting my time.

Re:Non-ionizing (1)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 2 years ago | (#36912646)

Non-ionizing. Quit wasting my time.

Mod parent up.

Doing these studies makes as much sense as doing massive, expensive studies to figure out whether I can cause my neighbors to get cancer by thinking evil thoughts about them. In both cases, there is no remotely plausible physical mechanism for the direct effect as postulated. The only reason to do the cell-phone study and not do the evil-thoughts study is that the former appeals deeply to people's folk beliefs, which have been built up from decades of movies and comic books where "radiation" causes magical effects. Never mind that electromagnetic "radiation" is necessary for photosynthesis -- "radiation" is bad, I tell you!

Of course some studies give positive results and some give null results. The studies are measuring the relative sizes of their random and systematic errors. In the studies where they succeed in getting their random errors down to a smaller level than their systematic errors, they will measure either a positive or a negative correlation with cancer. In the ones where they succeed in getting their systematic errors down to a smaller level than their random errors, they will get a null result.

Even in the case of ionizing radiation, where there is a physical mechanism for causing cancer, it is extraordinarily difficult to measure cancer caused by low doses. For instance, nobody really knows whether doubling your dose of ionizing radiation relative to average natural background would be positively correlated with cancer; there is in fact some evidence to suggest that it would reduce your risk.

Re:Non-ionizing (2)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 2 years ago | (#36912846)

If only someone could go back in time and convince them to come up with another word to describe electromagnetic propagation. Think of all the time and money that could be saved. If it's not an ionized particle, IT'S DIFFERENT!

Re:Non-ionizing (5, Interesting)

MonkeySpaceCapsule (1314937) | more than 2 years ago | (#36913248)

Actually, the fact that they are non-ionizing doesn't prevent them from harming DNA. Ionization loosely means that the power is sufficient to destroy a base pair in a DNA chain (via striping of an electron), if the full energy of the wave packet is absorbed. Ionizing radiation is guaranteed to hurt you if it is absorbed by your body (e.g., it will ionize something whether that is protein or DNA). My perception of why "non-ionizing" doesn't mean it is safe comes from a (tangential) education in terahertz radiation (e.g., microwaves). Simply put, just because the radiation may be low in power when averaged over time and space, the instantaneous energy density of the radiation might make it unsafe. DNA can be harmed through lots of different ways other than ionization (strand separation, mutagens, denaturing, etc.)

For an ocean analogy, just because the ocean has an RMS wave height of 5 feet doesn't mean that *all* the waves will be 5 ft tall. Instantaneous peaks (in space and time) will discharge sufficient energy (albeit non-ionizing) into DNA to cause the strands to separate (and be subject to other effects accordingly). For a gadget example, take the microwave. It isn't ionizing. It doesn't directly cause cancer, but if an organism is subjected to sufficient microwaves of power to denature proteins, the process will cause upticks in cellular metabolism to repair those proteins. I for one do believe that the uptick in metabolism does in fact lead to a higher incidence of cancer (though metabolic studies vs cancer rates are really not well documented in my book and mostly involve healthy people starving themselves).

I think the best take on cell phone radiation, for which sadly cannot attribute, was from a UK doc several years ago who was worried that the digitization of cell phone signals (vs analogue), while it would lead to a much lower RMS would also lead to bursts of *very* high instantaneous energy. This might denature proteins over time, like cooking an egg millimeter by random millimeter.

Forget studies on people with cell phones for the next decade or so. People are complicated and are difficult to pin down w.r.t. a cause of a disease. I think we probably need to spend more money on actual fundamental (microbial) research on non-ionizing radiations effect on cellular growth (such as http://www.biomedsearch.com/nih/Cell-phone-radiations-affect-early/20355324.html [biomedsearch.com]). As for myself, right now I have no idea if they are safe, but I for one know that just being "non-ionizing" isn't enough.

Re:Non-ionizing (1)

Misagon (1135) | more than 2 years ago | (#36913656)

You mention upticks in metabolism. That is very interesting.

I have seen PET-scans from a study where the subject was injected with doped glycose molecules and using a GSM 800 MHz phone while inside the detector. The scans showed a high concentration of glycose -- a blob in the image -- right next to where the antenna was, and only normal levels elsewhere in the head. Mind you this was somewhat older model of an Ericsson GSM phone with only a single-band that had an actual external antenna.

Seeing that image shed my doubts right there that something is going on. The radiation may not be ionizing but it is definitely doing something. This particular study did not go into why there was an increase in glucose, it was only showing that there was.

Re:Non-ionizing (1)

cababunga (1195153) | more than 2 years ago | (#36913988)

The scans showed a high concentration of glycose -- a blob in the image -- right next to where the antenna was, and only normal levels elsewhere in the head.

I wonder if the antenna was incidentally located close to the area of the brain responsible for processing of the audio signal, which might also be emitted by the phone.

Re:Non-ionizing (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#36913928)

Here's the thing: non-particle ionizing radiation (e.g. ultraviolet light) is fundamentally just higher energy because of the higher frequency. Claims that UV causes damage while lower frequency RF signals can never cause damage are just plain contrary to reason. Nothing else in nature has a sudden threshold like that; there's always a continuum, such that you start to see significant numbers of additional deaths at some concentration, with near complete destruction of the population at some point, but that doesn't mean that levels below the level where you saw the first death aren't dangerous.

As a general rule, it is silly to assume that there is some magic threshold above or below which you can say that suddenly this energy is or isn't going to cause damage. This strongly suggests that the dividing line between ionizing and non-ionizing radiation is really nothing more than an arbitrary cutoff below which the odds of damage are small enough that we consider it to be "mostly harmless", not a point below which RF is completely harmless. Thus, you would expect chance to play a major role in whether the effects are or are not detectable at those levels. Crank up the gain by a factor of a million and see if the effects are still undetectable. If they suddenly become consistently observable, then what you are seeing is really no more than the difference between one instance and zero instances in a sample size that's too small to adequately show the effect.

Re:Non-ionizing (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | more than 2 years ago | (#36914202)

Here's the thing: non-particle ionizing radiation (e.g. ultraviolet light) is fundamentally just higher energy because of the higher frequency. Claims that UV causes damage while lower frequency RF signals can never cause damage are just plain contrary to reason. Nothing else in nature has a sudden threshold like that; there's always a continuum, such that you start to see significant numbers of additional deaths at some concentration, with near complete destruction of the population at some point, but that doesn't mean that levels below the level where you saw the first death aren't dangerous.

As a general rule, it is silly to assume that there is some magic threshold above or below which you can say that suddenly this energy is or isn't going to cause damage. This strongly suggests that the dividing line between ionizing and non-ionizing radiation is really nothing more than an arbitrary cutoff below which the odds of damage are small enough that we consider it to be "mostly harmless", not a point below which RF is completely harmless. Thus, you would expect chance to play a major role in whether the effects are or are not detectable at those levels. Crank up the gain by a factor of a million and see if the effects are still undetectable. If they suddenly become consistently observable, then what you are seeing is really no more than the difference between one instance and zero instances in a sample size that's too small to adequately show the effect.

Actually, there *is* a sudden jump, assuming the material you're observing is the same. A photon either has enough energy to remove an electron or it doesn't. Also, RF and UV are nowhere near each other.

Re:Non-ionizing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36914454)

If that's true then how come a 5mW laser can cause substantial eye injury in seconds but YEARS of RF energy that your eye is exposed to over your lifetime doesn't?

Re:Non-ionizing (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#36913196)

Yeah, but...when I wave my sell phone near my speakers it makes a horrible noise. You're not telling me that's not really powerful radiation are you? Surely it must do something bad to me.

Re:Non-ionizing (1)

Dthief (1700318) | more than 2 years ago | (#36913206)

you should stick your head in a microwave while its on.....its non-ionizing....so totally safe

Re:Non-ionizing (1)

cababunga (1195153) | more than 2 years ago | (#36914018)

Not a good example. Nobody asking you to stick your head in a pot with boiling water to prove your point.

Re:Non-ionizing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36914356)

Tell you what, I'll stick my head in a microwave and you stick yours in an electric oven, and we'll see who's worse off.

Hint: It's not "radiation" that makes microwave ovens dangerous. The danger arises from the fact that a microwave oven induces heat in suitable molecules. They are, by dint of being an oven, powerful enough to heat foodstuffs past the boiling point of water. Microwave, gas and electric ovens pose the same hazard to human health, and gas ovens pose additional hazards on top of it; an excellent example of why older technology isn't necessarily any safer than newer.

Low levels of microwave radiation are perfectly safe, and in fact leak out of your microwave oven if it's old or improperly shielded, meaning standing next to it while it's cooking will expose you to radiation (non-ionizing of course, but I doubt that matters to you if cell phones scare you). Better shielded ovens don't have this problem of course, but unless you've actually tested the shielding on yours, you have no idea whether it leaks. Good indicator is if nuking food makes the wifi fail.

TL;DR version, you're an ill informed idiot who can't tell ionizing from non-ionizing radiation.

Re:Non-ionizing (1)

Dynetrekk (1607735) | more than 2 years ago | (#36913994)

Spot on. Please, help spreading the work of Robert Adair, he's got papers on both ELF and cell phones. One of them is found here: http://pra.aps.org/abstract/PRA/v43/i2/p1039_1 [aps.org] There's one about cell phones too, he basically disproves the whole thing using thermodynamics and simple, fundamental physics arguments. It's more thorough than waving your jedi hand and saying "non-ionizing", too.

Children and adolescents? (0)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 2 years ago | (#36912430)

I don't know that I can agree with the ethics of using children and adolescents as experimental subjects for this kind of research. They are certainly valuable for this type of work, but as a parent I would not volunteer my child to this.

Re:Children and adolescents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36912498)

I'm sure it's more along the lines of "here's some $$$, let us see your kid's medical records, and fill out this survey about their cell phone use".

Re:Children and adolescents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36912590)

There might not even be a "here's some $$$" component. Most privacy statements at pediatrician offices have a clause similar to "we may use and disclose your health information for research". You would need to fill out paperwork to opt your kids out of this.

Re:Children and adolescents? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36912506)

Don't be silly, most parents buy their kids cell-phones at the age of 10 now.

Re:Children and adolescents? (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#36912882)

I got one for my kid at 3. Sure made our trip to Disneyland a lot less traumatic when he found an exit we didn't know about in the Tom Sawyer' caverns.

Re:Children and adolescents? (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 2 years ago | (#36912738)

Assuming the parent *already* gave his kid a cell phone... what's wrong with the research about said usage? The kid is already using it, wouldn't it just be measuring the results? And if you don't want to give your kid a cell phone, it would still just be measuring the results. It doesn't seem like the study is asking them to do anything different than normal cell phone usage, which they very likely are already doing. Granted, I'm not sure of their actual methods... but since they are trying to find a link or absence of a link between, I assume, normal cell phone usage ...

Re:Children and adolescents? (2)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#36914008)

This, like most cancer studies, is statistical. That is, the subjects self-select themselves into control or experimental group independent of the existence of the study.

The problem there is that self-selection introduces a lot of potential for confounding influences.

The huge advantage and why they're done in spite of such a serious shortcoming is that since the subjects self-select independently of the study's existence, the researcher bears no responsibility for the outcome.

The conclusions are not that different. (3, Informative)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#36912458)

Remember, the study everyone was screaming about not too long ago put cell phones (and all other devices that emit radio waves of any sort) into the same carcinogen class as pickled cucumbers.

Re:The conclusions are not that different. (2)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#36913230)

Bananas are far more dangerous than cellphones, they emit ionizing radiation.

Re:The conclusions are not that different. (1)

fran6gagne (1467469) | more than 2 years ago | (#36913264)

Yeah cell phones waves were classified in Group 2B: the agent (mixture) is possibly carcinogenic to humans. The exposure circumstance entails exposures that are possibly carcinogenic to humans. Among group 2B is Citrus Red No. 2 dye used to color oranges, lead, nickel, coffee and as you said pickled vegetables.

I guess you will find interesting that alcoholic beverages and tobacco products are classified in Group 1: the agent (mixture) is definitely carcinogenic to humans. The exposure circumstance entails exposures that are carcinogenic to humans.

I'm still Calling BS (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36912484)

5 Billion phones in use and the sample size is 1000? I'm still calling BS on the cancer part since the signal from a phone is not ionized and does not have that effect of mutating cells, but that sample size is way to small to the general population use of the phones to be relevant.

The actual paper quoted a percentage of people in that group with brain tumors and it seemed very high, like 60 out of the 1000 people or something.

Re:I'm still Calling BS (1)

Walt Dismal (534799) | more than 2 years ago | (#36912948)

Imagine this statement: "Sunlight is not ionizing radiation therefore it is unthinkable that it can cause cancer."

On another topic, the study is flawed in that it only tracked children over a limited period even though that was several years, and therefore cannot make assertions that something does not cause cancer, as it omits long-term development triggered many years before. It is clear from chemical environmental studies that carcinogens can take long times to produce effect.

Also, the study took place where (lower than USA) European radiation standards are in place, and therefore does not cover effects of higher output phones in other countries, nor of pervasively high-density US towers.

And finally the study by using only cancer for a claim that phones do not cause problems omits the effects of RF on childrens' brain development, a wholly different issue but not an insignificant one

Re:I'm still Calling BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36913760)

Imagine this statement: "Sunlight is not ionizing radiation therefore it is unthinkable that it can cause cancer."

I imagined it. It was incorrect. Sunlight, specifically the UV component, is ionizing.

Re:I'm still Calling BS (1)

Walt Dismal (534799) | more than 2 years ago | (#36914064)

Guys, I was illustrating flawed thinking - my whole post was about flaws. I was not asserting that UV cannot deliver enough energy to break bonds. Of course it can.

Re:I'm still Calling BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36913222)

5 Billion phones in use and the sample size is 1000?

Derp derp derp, statistics are fun.

After 1000 participating values, the outcome of a statistical analysis won't become more or less accurate. Meaning that 1000 will get you the same plus or minus 5% accuracy that 10,000 participating values would, which would get you the same plus or minus 5% accuracy as 100,000. It doesn't really matter statistically how large the sampling pool is past 1000 it matters more on how random it is. Please go kill yourself before you decide that you want to try your hand at statistics again.

AAaaaaaaaaaaaand, back to my little hidey-hole.

"...all with different conclusions" (1)

stevegee58 (1179505) | more than 2 years ago | (#36912486)

...depending on the authors' agendas.

No science to see here folks! Move along! Move along!

Sigh (0)

YodasEvilTwin (2014446) | more than 2 years ago | (#36912502)

Radiation can cause DNA damage and thus cancer. Thus cell phones can cause cancer. Thus cell phones probably have caused cancer, just by statistics -- lots of cell phones and lots of cell phone use means lots of radiation. The fact that studies show weak correlation or none or are inclusive and contradict each other just means that the risk is really, really low and that other factors in our environment dominate the tiny effect of cell phones. There are much better things to worry about -- most things are better to worry about, in fact. But it would be just as silly to assume that cell radiation magically does no damage as it is to assume that using a cell phone regularly will definitely give you brain cancer. Just be smart and don't waste your time on something that's not worth it.

Re:Sigh (1)

YodasEvilTwin (2014446) | more than 2 years ago | (#36912536)

And yes, most of it is non-ionizing, but that just means a single radio wave won't cause a point mutation. The interaction of all the signals in the modern environment is much more complex than that.

You don't know anything about radiation, do you? (2)

publiclurker (952615) | more than 2 years ago | (#36912698)

Adding non-ionizing radiation sources together does not make it ionizing, nor does it increase the energy levels to where it can break chemical bonds.

Well, technically (2)

EdwinFreed (1084059) | more than 2 years ago | (#36912874)

Nonlinear effects are possible, like where two photons are absorbed then only one is emitted. So non-ionizing radiation could in theory interact in a way to produce ionizing energy. It's also possible that some structures are exquisitely sensitive to particular frequencies of radiation.

But a closer look shows just how unlikely such phenomena are. The probability of such interactions depends on there being sufficient energy density - you see them with megawatt lasers but not at the power levels where cell phones operate. As for some sensitive structure being present, if there was you'd think we would have found it by now.

Re:Sigh (1)

Phleg (523632) | more than 2 years ago | (#36912598)

-1, Idiot

Visible light is a form of radiation. Heat is a form of radiation. Therefore light bulbs cause cancer, right?

Re:Sigh (1)

Phleg (523632) | more than 2 years ago | (#36912620)

I hate replying to myself, but "radiation" has become the new "chemical". Chemicals are bad. Radiation is bad. This is what we get for de-funding science education.

Re:Sigh (1)

elsurexiste (1758620) | more than 2 years ago | (#36912622)

What about non-ionizing UV light, then, which indeed causes DNA damage?

Re:Sigh (1)

Phleg (523632) | more than 2 years ago | (#36912756)

Irrelevant. I'm replying to the person who lacks a fifth-grade understanding of the term "radiation".

Re:Sigh (5, Informative)

codegen (103601) | more than 2 years ago | (#36912912)

What about non-ionizing UV light, then, which indeed causes DNA damage?

Actually it is in the UV band that radiation become ionizing. Near UVA(300-400nm) is non-ionizing. Middle and Far UVB/C (200-300nm) is ionizing. The latter(UVB/C) causes DNA damage directly. UVA can contribute to cancer, but it is indirect through interactions with radicals. Nobody has ever said that there are not chemical interactions that can be influenced by non-ionizing radiation (chlorophyll and blue/red light comes to mind). However, cell phones are in the microwave region. If you can show an organic molecule that reacts chemically at these frequencies, I suspect there is a Nobel Prize in it for you. So far all anyone has been able to show is heat.

Re:Sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36912656)

Yes you idiot. High UV bulbs certainly can cause cancer.

Re:Sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36912702)

Visible light doesn't penetrate with much intensity at much depth. Most of it is absorbed by dead cells at the surface of your skin. But yes, visible light does cause damage, if it's strong enough to affect the living cells underneath. Ever heard of skin cancer?

Re:Sigh (1)

shoehornjob (1632387) | more than 2 years ago | (#36912966)

Thank you. His theory/assumption was far too vague. We need to measure the amount of radiation occuring on most current models in various modes of daily use to even grasp a correct baseline before we can calculate potential damage to tissue etc. It's just basic facts with no hidden agenda that we need to formulate a valid opinion.

Re:Sigh (1)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | more than 2 years ago | (#36912610)

Radiation is just a scary word for light. Lightbulbs cause radiation. Heat causes radiation. Your own body emits radiation. Cancer is only caused by radiation that is at wavelengths that can damage DNA.

Re:Sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36912840)

Cancer is only caused by radiation that is at wavelengths that can damage DNA.

No, cancer is caused by lots of things -- anything that can screw up cellular replication mechanisms can (sometimes, not always) cause cancer. This includes ionizing radiation and many kinds of chemicals, but it also can include subtle electrical effects, temperature variations, and anything else that can in the right (or wrong) circumstances mess up the transcription and replication process (including gravity variations).

That said, most teens I know who use cell phones use them far more for texting than talking, which puts the radio source (and all the electronics which might induce lower-frequency currents, and the housings, batteries, etc which outgas plasticizers and who knows what else) considerably further from the user's head.

Although personally I wouldn't worry about them even if they used radioisotope batteries -- my odds are higher of being hit by a car whose driver is talking on their cellphone. ;-)

Re:Sigh (1)

Sqr(twg) (2126054) | more than 2 years ago | (#36912630)

Radiation can cause DNA damage and thus cancer. Thus cell phones can cause cancer.

Yes. That's the way clueless people reason, and the reason so many people are afraid of cellphones. The correct reasoning would be: "Ionizing radiation causes cancer. Cell phones do not emit ionizing radiation. Thus there's no reason why cell phones should cause cancer." A 60 Watt light bulb emits about 60 times more radiation than a cell phone. Those are higher-energy photons also. I don't know if there has been any studies on whether light bulbs cause cancer.

Re:Sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36912816)

UV-B is non ionizing and causes DNA damage. Radiation doesn't have to be ionizing to cause cancer.

Re:Sigh (1)

gorzek (647352) | more than 2 years ago | (#36913508)

On the other hand, microwave radiation--which cell phones produce--has never been shown to cause cancer.

Frequency dependent (1)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | more than 2 years ago | (#36912524)

Technology and frequencies have all been changing over the last few years. Even analog to digital. I would be interested in seeing if the studies that all show harm are for the same technology. And the harmless studies are for a different set of frequencies.

Re:Frequency dependent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36913546)

None of the frequencies of cellphones go above visible light, which is requried before there is a risk of cancer.

Re:Frequency dependent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36914160)

How the hell do you expect there to be any difference in the rate of cancer (which is pretty much zero already) based on the information contained in the RF signal?! The body's cells are not demodulating the signal and extracting information before trying to decide whether or not to start the production of cancer cell.

Physics shows that cell phones cannot cause cancer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36912664)

Everyone should read this article:
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=can-you-hear-me-now&print=true

Let's spend money on other studies, okay?

Cancer is a fungus, known prior as Consumption... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36912726)

Before it was called "cancer" it was known as Consumption because no-matter how much you ate it leached more content from your body that you never got to fealing healthy. Everyone has cancer, only it gets out of control when at a certain stage in your life where your Immune System is compromised or the cancer releases enough neuro-toxin while integrating to the host's nervous system that the Immune system thinks it's normal tissue unawares.

All the studies trying to link Cancer and Cell Phones is a ignorant scam trying to divert liability or keep the public guessing on Research funding patchs. The nature of EMF from transmitters is that most communications and food preparation equipment are operating at near the resoant frequency of water: cell phones and WIFI are operating near the resonant frequency of water to improve their line-of-sight communications through the atmosphere, while microwave ovens actuallty agitate the water molecules in edible food to generate heat that supposedly cooks the food if not change the chemical structure of it to something worse. In the matter of Cell Phones, wherever region that transmitter is held on the body is where it impugns the Immune System from fuctioning, and thereby because cancer is already naaturally in the host is when it has the window of opportunity to expand it's culture in number for entropy to produce an heir fugus in successive generations that can better integrate to the host undetected (evolution).

That is exactly what is happening: Cell Phones don't cause cancer, but shut-down the Immune System long enough for evolution of a fungus to occur that was already in your body being destroyed by your Immune System. That is the link.

Re:Cancer is a fungus, known prior as Consumption. (1)

leighklotz (192300) | more than 2 years ago | (#36913582)

The nature of EMF from transmitters is that most communications and food preparation equipment are operating at near the resoant frequency of water:

No, that's wrong. Dipole resonance of water molecules is around 20 GHz. Microwave ovens are 2.5 GHz and 915 MHz. Those frequencies are allocated as ISM bands. All RF causes heating by absorption, even light.

cell phones and WIFI are operating near the resonant frequency of water to improve their line-of-sight communications through the atmosphere, while microwave ovens actuallty agitate the water molecules in edible food

No, that's wrong. If something absorbs RF and turns it into heat, it's not going to pass it through without loss as well. You're claiming two contradictory things in the same sentence.

to generate heat that supposedly cooks the food if not change the chemical structure of it to something worse.

Yes, you're right. Heat does cook food. Cooking food changes the chemical structure. That's why we cook it. It's done by heat. A 2000 watt Infrared lamp in a stove can cook food because of heat, but it doesn't cause cancer. A 2000 watt microwave oven can cook food because of heat. A fire can cook food because of heat. A lens can concentrate the electromagnetic radiation from the sun and cook a hot dog or kill an ant. If you look at the sun, the lens in your eye will concentrate the energy on a sensitive part of your anatomy and you will go blind. A 2000 watt radio transmitter can cook you because of heat, and you would not want that, so you should avoid being near concentrated electromagnetic energy, because it will induce heat into the soft tissues of your body just as it does chicken breast, and you will get cooked.

In the matter of Cell Phones, wherever region that transmitter is held on the body is where it impugns the Immune System from fuctioning

So what is your proposed mechanism by which some frequencies you have picked ("cell phones", "wi fi") cause immune system suppression now that you know that the special distinction you supposed for these frequencies (by exciting water molecules at resonance) isn't true? How do you propose to decide that heat energy induced in the body by cell phones is more dangerous that heat energy induced by the heat lamp in the bathroom ceiling, or the heat you get from sitting in the sunny part of the yard instead of the shady part?

You want to read about microwave ovens? Go to wikipedia.

Different Conclusions Tell You Something (1)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 2 years ago | (#36912736)

>This marks the 3rd study this month and the 4th major one this year, all with different conclusions.

If we were talking about anything else, the obvious conclusion would be that there isn't even evidence for correlation let alone causation. This will continue until the next Scary Thing (tm) comes along to replace cell phones and smart meters.

Cancer is not the only malady that befalls us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36912852)

Why are all these studies so focused on cancer? Cancer is not the only bad thing that might happen to us from sticking a radio transmitter next to our head for half the day, or walking around totally bathed in rf from every other person's hip pocket, and the cell towers on every other corner.

Re:Cancer is not the only malady that befalls us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36913110)

Like having a good night at the theatre marred by a cunt of a theatre-goer who thinks that the "please switch off all mobile phones" request doesn't apply to them if their phone is on mute - ignoring the buzzing noise coming from their bag as some desperate fuck repeatedly tries to call them during the show.

No need for any studies... (1)

frog_strat (852055) | more than 2 years ago | (#36913076)

Because I fully understand everything about radio waves and biology. Nothing in my knowledge would allow for any cancer stimulating phenomenon. Sheez, go get a religion. Science has no room for all of these dogmatic assertions.

http://xkcd.com/925/ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36913130)

I was most reassured by this observation.

http://xkcd.com/925/

In related news. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36913150)

Canadian Green Party MP Elizabeth May warns us about the dangers of wifi, from her Blackberry [nationalpost.com].

Wishful Thinking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36913192)

Just keep those cell phones glued to your heads idiots let the 7billion population drop without war.

Cancer takes years to show up (1)

mrheckman (939480) | more than 2 years ago | (#36913194)

Children and adolescents? Heck, I suspect that one could run a test of children and adolescents working under UV lights in asbestos mines who eat nothing but saccharine, and there still wouldn't be any sign of a cancer connection. Cancers generally take years to show up.

Effect vs No Effect? Third Option (1)

Caption Wierd (1164059) | more than 2 years ago | (#36913342)

Collectively, these studies tell me one very important thing: If there is an effect, it is not a large one. And not worth worrying about.

Conclusions of yet another one (2)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#36913390)

I have the conclusion of yet another study:
Studies cause cancer in rats.

Cellphone Studies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36913464)

....cause far more cancer, than actual cellphone usage does!

Skin depth. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36913476)

The intensity of any EM radiation (including the RF/microwave radiation from cell phones) diminishes as it moves into any medium, including the human head.
Brain cells divide at a much slower rate than skin cells, so any radiation induced carcinogenic effects would take longer to produce cancer in brain tissue, as compared to skin and ear tissue.

Cellular RF is most intense at the skin surface, at the temple and the ear.
The skin does, in fact, exhibit cancerous growth relatively rapidly following exposure to carcinogenic chemicals and ionizing (UV, X-ray) radiation.

If cell phone radiation was really causing cancer, we should see alarming rates of skin cancer, radically outpacing brain cancer, and correlated with cell phone use.
But we don't.

Art imitating life (1)

BetaDays (2355424) | more than 2 years ago | (#36913534)

Art imitating life: last lines in the movie "Thank you for smoking" 2005 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0427944/quotes [imdb.com] says it all quite nicely. Nick Naylor: Gentlemen, practise these words in front of the mirror: Although we are constantly exploring the subject, currently there is no direct evidence that links cell phone usage to brain cancer.

cancer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36913652)

All these studies of cell phones and brain cancer yet no one is studying the link between lasik and eye cancer what gives?

Astrocytoma reference (1)

FrootLoops (1817694) | more than 2 years ago | (#36913788)

The article mentions

Published in the International Journal of Oncology, and carried out by researchers from the University Hospital of Örebro and Umeå University (Sweden), the study found that long-term usage increased the risk of all malignant tumors by 30 percent, and astrocytomas in particular by 40 percent.

But this article [jagran.com] says (apparently about the same study)

People who started using mobiles as teenagers, and have done so for at least 10 years, were 4.9 times more likely to develop astrocytoma as compared to controls, the researchers added.

Neither article bothers to give enough identifying information for this study for me to actually find the paper (even further reinforcing my impression of widespread journalistic incompetence...). Anybody have a link at least to an abstract?

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